Over the past few weeks, my learning and technology research has led me down the path of video-based learning (VBL) technology; more specifically, I have investigated the asynchronous VBL delivery system to understand its true capabilities regarding learning outcomes. At the onset of my research, asynchronous VBL technology seemed somewhat straightforward: Design and shoot an instructional video for a specific educational context, conduct some post-production edits of the footage, and launch the video once modifications are complete; however, as I delved more deeply into the literature on VBL, I soon realized the technology is much more complex than I initially thought.
There is a wide array of delivery system characteristics that impact the educational experience for learners. First, the level of control between the learner, instructor, and the technology strongly influences the learner’s ability to comprehend, practice, and retain the learning material. Second, and to no surprise of my own, the asynchronous learning model presents educational challenges for some learners, including a lack of engagement and connectedness with the instructor and students. Third, the video content and production value strongly influence student engagement and learning. There are so many elements to asynchronous video production that I could have focused my research efforts on content design and production alone. Forth, support for social connectedness can be limited or even non-existent in many VBL systems, which may negatively affect the educational experience for learners who require or prefer community connectedness for social or learning purposes. Lastly, each VBL delivery system’s design must accommodate the science of human learning and integrate technological innovations appropriately, which is perhaps the most significant challenge I have faced throughout my research thus far. However, such complexity does present an exciting opportunity to further study VBL technology, along with other forms of multimedia.
After reading some of Richard E. Mayer’s work on multimedia learning, I have realized the richness of the field of multimedia learning. Considering my background in music production, sound design, and education, I now wish to dedicate my learning and technology research career to multimedia learning. Since the beginning of the MALAT program, I have been trying to determine a solid research angle to pursue, and thanks to the LNRT 526 course, I now have some direction. If only I had figured this out before the MALAT thesis application deadline!